Denver, CO – The Los Angeles Dodgers overcame a subpar performance from Clayton Kershaw to survive a 10-8 slugfest against the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game set at Coors Field.
The Dodgers left-hander was very un-Kershaw-like, allowing five runs and a career-high 11 hits over a five-inning start.
"It happens and hopefully I get these runs out of the way before it counts," Kershaw said.
Andre Ethier clubbed a two-run homer and finished with three RBI for NL West- leading Los Angeles, which has won five games in a row.
Chad Bettis started for the Rockies and gave up five runs on eight hits and walked four in 4 2/3 innings.
"I wasn't efficient as I would've like today," Bettis said.
The Dodgers broke a 5-5 tie in the sixth, which began with an error by Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado. Yasiel Puig reached when Arenado's throw pulled Jordan Pacheco off the bag at first. and Puig then sufferd a mild right knee strain sliding into third on an Adrian Gonzalez single.
Puig remained in the game and scored the go-ahead run on Hanley Ramirez's sacrifice fly, but he was replaced in right field by Skip Schumaker in the bottom of the inning.
Ethier followed Ramirez with the blast to right.
The Rockies looked for a quick response in the home half of the sixth, greeting reliever Brandon League with consecutive hits to put men on the corners. League bounced back to shut down the threat, retiring DJ LeMahieu on a fly ball to right and getting Michael Cuddyer to ground into an inning- ending double play.
Colorado was able to trim the deficit to 8-7 against Ronald Belisario in the eighth, but Cuddyer bounced into another twin killing to thwart the rally.
Juan Uribe and Carl Crawford each plated a run in the ninth to provide insurance for Kenley Jansen, who earned his 25th save despite allowing a leadoff homer to Wilin Rosario.
The Rockies outhit the Dodgers, 18-15.
Both starting pitchers labored through the first inning.
Crawford walked to begin the game and went to third on a single by Puig, who was called out on interference after colliding with the second baseman LeMahieu as he was attempting to field a Gonzalez chopper.
After Ramirez walked to load the bases, Pacheco tried to initiate a double play, but his throw to second hit Ramirez and Crawford scored on the error. Bettis retired the next two batters to avoid further damage.
Kershaw's (14-8) outing also began with a walk, and a LeMahieu single put men on the corners with no outs. Cuddyer and Rosario then each plated a run with consecutive base hits before a third first-inning run scored when Arenado grounded into a double play.
The Dodgers got a run back in the third, then moved ahead two innings later. Ethier hit a one-out double and A.J. Ellis drew a two-out walk before Uribe chased Bettis by knocking in the tying run with a single.
Jeff Manship (0-5) took over on the mound and promptly gave up a two-run single to Kershaw, who failed to protect the 5-3 lead as Arenado and Pacheco each drove in a run in the bottom of the fifth.
The Rockies were 8-for-20 with runners in scoring position, while Los Angeles finished 6-for-17 ... Ethier, Uribe and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon each had three hits.